Turns out Taylor Swift is a Derry Girl, genealogists find

Performer due to take to the Aviva stage in Dublin for three concerts that kick off next week

Taylor Swift's Irish roots have been traced back to 1836. Photograph: Isabel Infantes/PA

Taylor Swift is part-Derry girl, according to EPIC, The Irish Emigration Museum, who with the help of their genealogy partners, The Irish Family History Centre, looked into the performer’s family history in advance of her three concerts in the Aviva Stadium at the end of this month.

The museum is “delighted” to uncover the pop superstars Irish roots that link her back to Derry, director of marketing at EPIC Yvonne Murphy said.

“Who knew Taylor was a Derry girl! This discovery adds a rich layer to her personal history and highlights the enduring impact of Irish emigrants. It’s great to be able to share this news with Swifties worldwide, ahead of her gigs in Dublin next week,” Murphy said.

According to the research, 172 years before the release of Swift’s hit single Love Story in September 2008, two young people emigrated from Ireland to the United States, boarding the ship Amy sailing from Derry on June 11th, 1836, hoping for a better life in Philadelphia.


Those two 21-year-olds were Susan Davis and Francis Gwynn, a dressmaker and a weaver. Their chance encounter on the ship created a global impact far greater than either could have imagined, when the ship docked on August 20th after a two-month-long voyage.

However, three years later, the pair married.

They had six children – Ann, John, William, Francis, Joseph and Mary. Five of the children predeceased their parents, but the surviving daughter, Mary Gwynn, is Taylor Swift’s great-great-grandmother.

Davis and Gwynn died two months apart and according to EPIC, and their story serves as a “wonderful reminder that love can help us endure the toughest journeys, a theme so often encapsulated in Taylor’s lyrics.”

Further to Swift having Derry roots, her great-great-grandfather, George Findlay, enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1899 and later settled in England after meeting Emma Maria Whiffin in South Africa. They had a son, George, who was born in Southampton, but they separated shortly afterwards.

Findlay recorded himself as a bachelor when he married Louisa Anna Darling in Dublin in 1880. The Findlay family, with their artisan roots, were members of Dublin’s Hosier’s Guild for at least three generations, living in areas such as Phibsborough, Portobello and Harold’s Cross.

Aileesh Carew, chief executive of EPIC, said that in tracing Swift’s roots back to 1836, the museum “exemplifies its vital role in preserving the rich tapestry of our past, ensuring that each individual thread contributes to the vibrant narrative of our collective history.”